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Three possible trade back scenarios on Day 1 of the draft

2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

For the past several years, I’ve advocated for trading back in the first round of the draft. In 2022, Washington’s front office finally listened, and the results were pretty spectacular by almost every metric. In effect, Washington passed on Saints wide receiver Chris Olave - who had a great rookie season - for Jahan Dotson (WR), Brian Robinson (RB), Cole Turner (TE), and Sam Howell (QB).

It’s obviously still early in their respective careers, but it looks like that trade probably swapped a WR1 for a WR2, an RB1, a depth TE, and a potential starting QB (and, at a minimum, a QB2). On a team that needed broad improvement, that simple trade back last year was a massive coup.

With so much talent in the late first and second round of this draft, I’d be very interested in seeing Washington trade back again next week and pick up several potential roster upgrades. Three potential scenarios are below.

Iowa State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Scenario #1: Another Dance with the Saints

Last year’s trade with the Saints worked out fairly well for both parties, so perhaps the Saints and their GM, Mickey Loomis - who will be looking to build quickly around their new starting QB, Derek Carr - would like to move in to the middle of the first round. With Marcus Davenport having left for the Vikings this offseason and Cameron Jordan in the last year of his contract, EDGE is a top need for the Saints.

For the sake of this scenario, let’s say Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness slips to #16. The Saints are very interested.

Washington’s pick 16 is worth 305 pts on the Rich Hill trade chart. The Saints’ first pick is #29, worth 202 points. Closing that gap is a bit tricky, but Washington throws in #97 (39 points) and receives 40 (149 pts) in return from the Saints. The value equation ends up looking like: Washington (305 + 39) = 344 to New Orleans (202 + 149) = 351. Very slight advantage to Washington, but that’s the premium for trading up.

The picks from the first two rounds for both teams end up playing out like this:

  • 16 (Saints) - Luka Van Ness (EDGE)
  • 29 (Washington) - Anton Harrison (OT)
  • 40 (Washington) - Joe Tippmann (C)
  • 47 (Washington) - DJ Turner (CB)
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Iowa at Ohio State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Scenario #2: Minnesota Moves Up for a WR

With the departure of Adam Thielen this offseason, the Vikings are in fairly dire need of a bookend to Justin Jefferson, unless they happen to think Jalen Raegor is going to keep defenses honest.

Here, Vikings GM, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah - who has pursued some truly bizarre draft trades over the past few years - moves up to #16 to grab a player widely considered to be the best WR in the draft, Jaxson Smith-Njigba, from Ohio State, who has slipped a bit further than expected.

Minnesota offers up #23 (245 points), #87 (48 pts), and a 2024 third round pick for #16.

The picks from the first round for both teams end up playing out like this:

  • 16 (Vikings) - Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR)
  • 23 (Washington) - Darnell Wright (OT)
  • 47 (Washington) - DJ Turner (CB)

NOTE: It’s important to recognize that this scenario doesn’t show Washington making its - now - two third round picks this year.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Alabama v Kansas State Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Scenario #3: The Jets Swing for the Fences.....Again

Last year, the New York Jets were about as aggressive as they could be in the draft, and they added significant high end talent as a result. In 2023, in appears they’ve decided to double down.

With their first pick in the draft, at #13, they select tackle Broderick Jones out of Georgia, but they want another top talent, need safety help, and see Alabama’s Brian Branch falling. With their next pick not until #42, they know they can’t wait. They pull the trigger with Washington.

Washington sends #16 (305 points) to the Jets for picks #42 (142), #43 (138), and a 2024 third round pick.

The picks from the first two rounds for both teams end up playing out like this:

  • 13 (Jets) - Broderick Jones (OT)
  • 16 (Jets) - Brian Branch (S)
  • 42 (Washington) - Kelee Ringo (CB)
  • 43 (Washington) - Matthew Bergeron (OT)
  • 47 (Washington) - John Michael Schmitz (C)

What are your thoughts? Let’s hear them in the comments below.


Which of these scenarios would you prefer?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Scenario 1: Saints
    (487 votes)
  • 23%
    Scenario 2: Vikings
    (316 votes)
  • 21%
    Scenario 3: Jets
    (298 votes)
  • 19%
    None of them. I’d prefer to stay at 16.
    (259 votes)
1360 votes total Vote Now